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The Cultural Divide

Book Reading as a Signifier of Boundaries among Co-Cultures in Israeli Society

Hanna Adoni and Hillel Nossek

This article investigates the function of book reading in a society consisting of a multiplicity of ethno-cultural communities, asking whether book reading functions as a unifying factor within each ethno-cultural community or as a dividing factor and as a signifier of boundaries between them. It is based on multiyear survey data among representative samples of Israeli urban adults (1970, 1990, 2001-2002, 2007, and 2011), focus groups, and analysis of bestseller lists (2001, 2002). The article demonstrates that book reading functions as a signifier of boundaries within Israeli society, namely between ethno-cultural co-cultures of veteran Jewish Israelis, Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, and Israeli Arabs. This supports Morley and Robins's claim that cultural consumption may be a divisive factor between the co-cultures within nation-states.

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Laurel Hart, Pamela Lamb and Joshua Cader

Effectively engaging with technologies of nonviolence for girls and young women requires attention to systemic, symbolic, and everyday forms of violence online and offline, as well as to how power is broadly manifest. We draw from three different interdisciplinary perspectives and critical reflections to consider networked technologies and online communities in relation to nonviolence. We explore mentorship and subversive education through Neal Stephenson’s 1995 novel, The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer, identity politics on Facebook in a reflective study of digital citizenship for queer girl visibility, and online grassroots community solutions in considering the social potential of online forums and solutions for online harassment. Our varied perspectives encounter contradictions, such as the need for access to and protection from diverse online communities, as a necessary consideration for developing policy and creating networked and community-based technologies of nonviolence. We conclude with five recommendations in a call to action.

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Attack Frames

Framing Processes, Collective Identity, and Emotion in the Men’s Rights Subreddit

Chelsea Starr

Framing processes concern how movements communicate with members and the public, defining what they stand for and articulating grievances and solutions. I extend the literature on framing processes to include an online-only movement of the Right with no formal movement organization. I performed a content analysis of 435 memes posted on the Men’s Rights subreddit, concluding that three main frames appear in their discourse: men as victims, antifeminism, and denial of gender inequality. Men’s rights activists (MRAs) accomplish a global transformation of the feminist frame using rhetorical strategies to deny gender inequality exists, simultaneously asserting men are victims of inequality and sexism. “Attack frames” provide MRAs with a common definition of feminism. This understanding contributes to building a collective movement identity centered on a narrative of men as victims. The attack frames can be deployed to sustain affective processes such as anger, which motivate a countermovement against feminism.

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How Movements Are Mediated

The Case of the Hungarian Student Network in 2012–2013

Bálint Takács, Sára Bigazzi, Ferenc Arató and Sára Serdült

This article examines media representations of statements made by the 2012 student movement in Hungary. We analyzed a total of 138 articles from two main Hungarian online journals. We found that both outlets focused strictly on the movement’s specific claims about educational policy but neglected to report on the broader political-ideological claims that it made. The emphasized claims reflected the specific political agenda of each outlet, with both newspapers also framing events according to the outlook of Hungary’s dominant political establishment (Fidesz). We then traced the dialogue between the Hungarian government and the student movement over time. We found that the movement was the much more active partner in this dialogue. We coded the co-occurrences of psycholinguistic markers, testing perspective-taking as a requirement for dialogue. The results indicated that the dialogue was a pretense of negotiation from the government and ended with insignificant adjustments to its original plans.

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What Really Matters in Creating Mass Mobilization, Classical Organization, or New Social Media?

A Comparative Case Study of the Mass Mobilization Process in France and South Korea

Jeong-Im Hyun

This article explores why people adopt different processes to participate in mass mobilizations, using the 2006 Anti-CPE (labor law) Movement in France and the 2008 Candlelight Movement against American Beef Imports in South Korea as case studies. In France, initiators and participants followed the ‘ready-made’ way: left-wing organizations led the whole process of mass mobilizations. In contrast, in South Korea, initiators came from ‘nowhere’: they were middle and high school students without any political organizations; participants were ‘tainted’ by the left-wing political line. The key finding of this study is that the levels of demarcation of political lines in people’s everyday life may explain this difference. In France, strong establishment of a political line in people’s everyday life brought fewer new actors, creating less surprise but a solid mobilization; in South Koreas, the less-established political line in people’s everyday life attracted more new actors, creating more surprise but ‘frivolous’ mobilizations.

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Not Too Real

Young Men Find “The Real” in “Unreal” Media

Allison Butler

This article explores stories told by five young men, ages 17-19, about how they conceptualize “reality” through their electronic media choices. In studies on young people and the media, there is a rich and popular conservative tradition of seeing those deemed “deviant” as deeply and negatively influenced by the media. These individuals are assumed to have a fragile conscience that will permit them to be attracted to and act out socially unacceptable behaviors seen in the media. Deviance is understood in terms of social location, including race, gender, social class, and educational attainment. This essay challenges that tradition by asking how these boys understand and make meaning from their media choices. I draw directly from their stories told by youth of color from the inner-city South Bronx, New York. How do they articulate their viewing/listening positions and make meaning of “reality” when it is often people like them who are depicted as criminals and perpetuators of socially unacceptable behaviors in the media? Instead of seeking out or reacting against violent media, they choose and “make meaning” from media that help them conceptualize family, friendship, community, and career choice.

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Wesley Shumar and Susan Wright

This special issue focuses on new social media in higher education and the dialectical tension they generate between knowledge as information and knowledge as a creative, social process. There is a long history of using new media in higher education, and their introduction has often been associated with a renewed social purpose for the sector. Now that new social media such as Facebook, streamed lectures, TED Talks, MOOCs, Moodle and other Content Management Systems are becoming widespread, this special issue questions their potential impact on teaching and learning in higher education. Do these media fulfil some administrators’ dream of reorganising higher education in terms of economic rationality and inexpensive reusable learning modules? Or do they open up new spaces for creativity, critical thinking and social change?

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Les Ambivalences de la Rationalisation

À propos du rôle joué par les médias dans la présidentielle 2012

Eric Lagneau and Cyril Lemieux

By comparison with 2002 and 2007, does the 2012 presidential election reveal significant changes in French media functioning and their relations with the political sphere? To answer this question, this article challenges four statements heard during the campaign. They deal with the contribution of the media to François Hollande's victory, the way journalists reported on the campaign, the role played by the polls and finally, the candidates' strategies in media agenda setting. Even if the features traditionally ascribed to the French media (social proximity between journalists and politicians, importance of state regulation and public service, orientation toward the intellectual viewpoint in the patterns of media coverage) have not completely vanished, they describe reality less and less. Indeed, as shown in the article, both the media and the political sphere are today subjected to a converging process of rationalization that transforms their practices and mutual relations.

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Paula MacDowell

Films, television series, music videos, computer games, social media networks, web pages, newspapers, magazine covers, digital signage, and other pervasive media texts are constantly projecting a barrage of conflicting and influential messages about who girls are, what they should be, and how they should act. In this article, I discuss my work with 10 girl coresearchers (aged between 10 and 13) to analyze media as texts with taken-for-granted meanings that need to be understood, questioned, interrupted, and transformed. I report on how the coresearchers produced a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to represent how girls and girlhood are (mis)represented in well-established and hegemonic media discourses. Findings underscore the importance of providing opportunities for girls to be media creators (not merely consumers or child users) so that the girl in the text can be heard and can express herself in her own ways, on her own terms, and for her own purposes.

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Cynthia Maurer

Tween girls spend a significant amount of time with peers both in and out of school. Little research has examined and theorized tween friendship culture, particularly as it relates to tween media culture. Drawing on qualitative data gathered on four tween girls, three of whom I discuss in this article, I explore the role of media in friendship negotiations occurring within the home. I argue that a televisual lexicon helps girls negotiate friendship in informal settings, participating in what I term friendship work to establish their own status within the group through intimate conversations about television. As a framework, friendship work situates tweens’ engagement with media as a social tool.